CS:GO is a successor of the traditions of the original CS 1.6 that used to be extremely popular in the period between the middle of 2000s till the beginning of the 2010s. In fact, Counter-Strike at that moment was nearly the only established esports discipline with regular major competitions.
However, in 2012 Valve officially released Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, giving the green light to professional teams for switching to the new game. However, at the beginning the game was met with mistrust as, based on the experience with Source, lots of people expected a failure.
Nevertheless, the Swiss stage helped CS:GO to gain popularity among the community and started to gather momentum. As they say, they were making history.
How CS:GO became popular — history of meteoric rise of the discipline
The beginning of the competitive history of Global Offensive dates back to the end of 2012 when the first big CS:GO tournaments started to take place. At that moment the stage did not spoil fans with loads of participants but big players like fnatic, MOUZ, NAVI and Ninjas in Pyjamas were actively promoting the game among broad audiences.
Famous tournament operators had already got interested in the discipline, including DreamHack and ESL. No doubt, these companies did not offer huge grabs but they were actively developing the young stage and offered the participants big opportunities and unique experiences.
A year later Valve came into play by conducting DreamHack Winter 2013 with the prize pool of $100,000 at the end of 2013. It helped such teams as fnatic and Ninjas in Pyjamas fly high, giving them a chance to take the throne in several years and not letting anyone who was trying to intervene in the fight for huge achievements close.
This is the starting point of popularity of the discipline that became iconic in the following several years and turned into one of the most successful in the history of modern esports.
Main formats of CS:GO tournaments
For starters, CS:GO tournaments fall into two categories: LAN and online. In the first case teams are gathered in one location where matches are played face-to-face. In the second case participants are given separate servers where matches and championships take place.
Each individual CS:GO tournament consists of several stages that can change depending on a so-called format of competitions.
Usually organizers use a standard system with a group stage and a playoff. However, there are a few branched here. At first, the group stage can take place in two formats:
- Swiss bracket
Besides, there two ways of holding a playoff depending on the bracket:
- Bracket with double elimination (plus the lower part)
- Bracket with single elimination (with only one playoff component)
Each tournament operator sticks to its own structure of holding the championship that can vary depending on the series. For instance, Intel Extreme Masters and ESL Pro League by ESL require absolutely different formats.
Therefore, the current stage offers enough variations of holding CS:GO tournaments that are building blocks of the ecosystem.
Famous tournament operators on stage
Perhaps, the modern stage is inflated by all possible companies that organize championships. This is the main distinction of CS:GO where Valve controls the ecosystem distantly and gives the reins of power to external tournament operators.
Currently we can identify really iconic organizers that managed to establish themselves after a while and did not smear their name:
- ESL (after the recent merger with FACEIT — ESL FACEIT Group)
- DreamHack (several year ago united with ESL)
- PGL (Romanian tournament operator that is known thanks to organization of majors)
- BLAST (Danish organizer of tournaments known for the BLAST Premier series)
- StarLadder (Ukrainian company that was one of the leaders of the stage at the dawn)
- MLG (American organizer that conducted several amazing tournaments including MLG Major Championship: Columbus 2016)
- Epic Esports Events (a once popular company that organized the EPICENTR series)
- ELEAGUE (American tournament operator that has two successful majors in their pocket and an unexpected departure from the stage)
Besides, there are tens of famous companies like WePlay Esports, Beyond The Summit, B Site and Relog Media that have already conducted big CS:GO tournaments.
Nevertheless, time waits for no one and years later the stage had only several famous tournament operators that are in high demand among teams and fans:
- Intel Extreme Masters
- ESL Pro League
- ESL Challenger at DreamHack
- ESL Challenger League
- BLAST Premier
- Champion of Champions Tour
Nevertheless, the TIER-2 level also offers its championships and series that will take up a considerable part of the competitive stage.
CS:GO majors — main tournaments of the year
The top of the competitive stage is majors. Apart from the two years when the coronavirus pandemic was raging, every year two major tournaments are organized, offering a prize pool exceeding $1,000,000 each.
However, before the major participants go through a rigorous selection process. If regional minors used to exist, today the RMR system is present on the stage — a system that resembled the predecessor a lot.
The structure of an RMR cycle consists of several elements:
- Open regional qualifiers (as a rule, two tournaments are here here)
- Closed regional qualifiers (depending on the region, one or two)
- RMR tournaments for Europe, America and Asia (Europe has two tournaments)
Therefore, teams that have overcome three qualifying stages will get to the major itself where they compete with the best of the best.
Schedule of CS:GO tournaments
On our website, you can find a relevant CS:GO timetable, and also watch matches live. We follow major championships and majors, offering up-to-date information about results and upcoming meetings.
Besides, you can find statistics of matches and teams as well as read tips from analysts. We carefully monitor esports and offer the freshest information that will appeal to all esports fans.